Some major events in Russia's history include the settlement of Scandinavian Vikings in Kiev and Novgorod, the reign of the first czar in 1547, the expansion of the Russian Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the Russian Revolution in 1917. In the 20th century, Russia transformed into a socialist state, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which fell in 1991.Continue Reading
After the Vikings, later known as the Rus', established settlements in the early 800s, they raided Constantinople in 860. Records state that the earliest monarchy was the Rurik Dynasty of Novgorod that started in 862. The monarchy expanded into Kiev and underwent a war with the Byzantine Empire in 907, 941 and 1043. The Rus' converted to Christianity in 988.
For centuries, the descendants of the Rurik Dynasty and Rus' cities fought amongst themselves with some outside conflicts with Poland and Hungary. In 1237 to 1240, the Mongols invaded Russia and destroyed nearly all cities including Moscow. The resulting Golden Horde Empire served to divide the Rus' into the later countries of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
In 1547, Ivan the Terrible became the first czar of the Russia and began several decades of expansion. The Romanov family became the next ruling family, starting with Michael Romanov in 1613. Peter the Great further expanded the empire between 1689 and 1725, as did Catherine the Great between 1772 and 1814. Russia contributed to the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.
In 1917, the Russian or Bolshevik Revolution overthrew the tsardom, giving rise to the USSR, which lasted until 1991.Learn more about Russia